**Thank you, Jewels, for hosting me on Leap Blog Day. I appreciate you sharing me with your readers. And, I thank your readers for letting me in today. ~ rissadee**
When I was ten, we spent our entire summer vacation in
. Even though Honolulu had everything
a ten-year old could ask for - the beach, a swimming pool, McDonald's - after
Week 2, I was ready to go home. I missed my friends, my bed and, according to
my travel diary, I missed playing jacks. Hawaii
I experienced all the island of Oahu had to offer that summer - Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Shopping Center, Chinaman's Hat, the Polynesian Cultural Center. We took bus rides around the island and picnicked on all the beaches. We visited the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. I remember looking over the side of the memorial, staring right into the sunken ship. I truly thought bodies would float up from below. In addition to the tourist spots, we visited the places where my mom spent time growing up. We took pictures in front of the schools she attended, the houses she lived in; we posed for pictures with her family friends and people who knew my grandparents when they were kids. Boring. Yeah, it had to be done; but all I could think about was getting back to a pool or to the beach.
My first trip to Hawaii as an adult was with my mom, my sister and my niece. It was quite similar to the trip I took at ten - tourist spots and Mom's childhood places. But, this trip was also different. I was older. I had a much different perspective and appreciation. This time, I had a sincere interest in my mom's stories and memories. I was inquisitive and she was willing to share more than I'd have ever heard. My heart was so full that trip…I was so happy my mom had the chance to share her life with her granddaughter. I was so happy to have been part of that trip. So much discovery that summer - my mom, her childhood, my family, me. The last place I wanted to be was home. I wished that trip had lasted five weeks.
Last July, we went to Hawaii together again. Mom's older, the grandkids are in their 20s and my patience is thin. By now, we know Oahu like we're locals. I was the only one not anxious to shop. I had 2 things planned - an overnight trip to Maui and a shark dive off the coast of North Shore Oahu. The rest of my two weeks involved reading, relaxing and sleeping. I did a lot of things on my own, wasn't going to let their disinterest stop me. I became resentful and annoyed that no one asked or cared about how i spent my day. Less than one week into the trip, I was ready to go home. My attitude was major, my annoyance bigger than I could contain. I may have been relaxed and stress-free, but I was bratty, curt and downright rude to my family. I wasn't going to last two weeks.
I've since had a talk with my mom about that trip. Crying, I apologized to her for my attitude and my behavior. We shared some serious feelings - both of us believing we would never share another summer in Hawaii together; both of us happy she shared her life and memories and stories with her children and her grandchildren, too.
I just returned from a four-day trip to Maui, where I performed the wedding ceremony for my friends Steve and Chrissy. This fall, Mom is going to Oahu and Kauai with some friends - the first time she's gone without family. While I've been to Hawaii several times without her, I always think of her. And part of me does wish she was there to share and experience whatever it is I'm doing.
*Thank you, Rissa, for writing for me. And, thanks for being patient with my air-headed-ness!*